Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (2017), 16 pp. doi: 10.1177/0961000617726129


Copyright © 2017 Lorna Dawes. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


This study examines faculty perceptions of teaching information literacy and explores the influence of these perceptions on pedagogy. The study adopted an inductive phenomenographic approach, using 24 semi-structured interviews with faculty teaching first-year courses at an American public research university. The results of the study reveal four qualitative ways in which faculty experience teaching information use to first year students that vary within three themes of expanding awareness. The resulting outcome space revealed that faculty had two distinct conceptions of teaching information literacy: (1) Teaching to produce experienced consumers of information, and (2) Teaching to cultivate intelligent participants in discourse communities. When information experiences are intentional, and involve using and teaching information use while learning the discipline content, this becomes “informed learning”, which is a pedagogical construct developed by Christine Bruce (Bruce and Hughes, 2010) that involves experiencing information in new ways while learning disciplinary information behaviors and content. This study gives new insight into the nature of this “informed learning” in first-year college courses and reveals that faculty create cultures of inquiry in their classes and, in so doing, treat information literacy as central to their disciplines. In addition to providing a more substantial understanding of faculty perceptions of teaching information use, the study indicates that the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy and the changes to SCONUL Framework reflect an approach to teaching information literacy that will be welcomed in the college classroom.